In A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film, Tony Zhou, just like what has been written in the title, approached the idea of the appearance and the representation of Text Messages (I will use the term SMS in my commentary) and of Internet in Film. In my opinion, this is an interesting video essay which allows us to see SMS and Internet on movies in a different way, and at the same time, raise questions about the “right way” to represent those “modern invention” on screen.
In the specific “Tony Zhou” voice tone, he leads us through five minutes of video essay with full excitement and focus. The video begins with his computer screen, where we can see through the “procedure” of making, or opening, his video-essay: he opens his Itunes program to play the background music, then switches to the Final Cut Pro program to “officially” begins his essay. As soon as that program shows up, his famous salutation “Hi, my name is Tony…” also manifests. This beginning induces audience’s curiosity, makes the video more interesting and also focus audience’s attention. One very fascinating way to begins a video essay.
After that, he approaches the idea of the representation of SMS on movies, and even TV series. It is interesting how Tony uses various types of movies to demonstrate for his arguments: we have, in this essay, Japanese series, teen movies, thriller series, soap opera, South Korea movies. He reveals to us the differences in representing SMS in movies around 2005-ish and movies nowadays: if the old ones are more “ugly” (stick with “bubble texts”), demand a large amount of money and grasp too many screen time, the new ones are more elegant, modern and can even contribute to create “emotions” for the scene. He used lots of movie sources, and the way he focus on Sherlock Holmes and House of Cards (as two bias) also emphasizes those differences.
Then, he starts to talk about the appearance and the representation of Internet on screen. Tony Zhou also used a lot of movie sources to argue for his statement: despite the fact that there is multiple ways to represent SMS in movies, the film (and series) industry is still struggling with finding the best way to present Internet. he shows us various possibilities which are already used in American movies, series and also the Japanese ones. He also has his favorite one, which is “the desktop film”, and, once again, Sherlock Holmes the series. In the end, he states that this is still one problem that movie and series directors need to resolve. With his “fascinating” voice tone and the similar rhythm between scene-switching and phrases-changing, he keeps us going until the last minutes of his video essays.